With a 1/2 game lead in the National League West and the biggest series of the year in front of them, the Dodgers came up short. The Boys in Blue were swept in a three-game series by the San Francisco Giants, and now sit 2 1/2 games behind the Giants for the division lead.

Clayton Kershaw and Madison Bumgarner were locked in one of the all-time great pitching duels Monday night. Each pitcher threw 8 innings with 10 strikeouts a piece and no walks.

It was all downhill from there for the Dodgers pitching as Joe Blanton and Chris Capuano both imploded, while San Francisco’s pitching held the Dodgers in check.

INFIELDERS: C-
Hanley Ramirez and Luis Cruz were two of the more productive Dodgers in the series, but, anything the Dodgers did at the plate in the series seemed to be too little too late. Hanley was the only Dodger to hit safely in all three games of the series, going 3-for-11, with a homer, a double, and a pair of RBI.

Cruz also had a good series going 4-for-10 with two RBI Wednesday. However, like Hanley’s home run Monday night with two out in the ninth, Cruz’s 2-RBI single Wednesday night was too little, too late.

A.J. Ellis was 2-for-9 with a double on Wednesday. Mark Ellis was 2-for-10 with two doubles and a run scored Wednesday. Adam Kennedy was 2-for-3 filling in at second base on Tuesday.

First base was unproductive, James Loney was 1-for-7, Juan Rivera was 1-for-6. Juan Uribe went 0-for-2 with a walk in three pinch-hit appearances.

OUTFIELDERS: D
The Dodgers three All-Star outfielders all struggled big time in the series. Shane Victorino couldn’t get on the base and cause havoc. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier were unable to produce any offense as they so usually do.

With three of the Dodgers’ top four hitters struggling it’s not surprising that San Francisco held them to two runs a game in the series.

Victorino was only 2-for-13 in the series, unable to spark the Dodgers offense like he did on the team’s most recent road trip. Kemp snapped an 0-for-19 streak on Tuesday, but he was only 2-for-12 in the series. He did drive in two of the Dodgers six total runs in the series, however.

Ethier snapped an 0-for-13 streak on Wednesday going 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Ethier struggled for most of the series, as well, going 2-for-12 overall.

Perhaps, the players are pressing a bit, but the Dodgers outfielders will need to step up in order to win the West.

STARTING PITCHING: C-
The only factor that bolstered the Dodgers’ grade in this category was Clayton Kershaw‘s masterful start on Monday night, which elapsed 8 innings pitched, 10 strikeouts, no walks, only two earned runs.

Unfortunately, Madison Bumgarner was just as good pitching 8 scoreless innings of his own. While Kershaw stepped up, Joe Blanton and Chris Capuano got lit up. Blanton continued to struggle with the Dodgers surrendering four earned runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.

Blanton is now 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in four starts with the Dodgers. Capuano would do no better giving up six runs in 5.0 innings on Wednesday. Each Dodgers starter took the loss.

BULLPEN: B-
The bullpen was a bit shaky on Wednesday, but the game had already gotten away from the Dodgers by then. Overall, there were some strong moments from the bullpen.

Ronald Belisario kept the Dodgers in the game on Monday night pitching a scoreless 9th inning striking out the side to back up Kershaw’s gem.

After Joe Blanton left on Tuesday night Scott Elbert, Brandon League, Randy Choate, and Jamey Wright combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings of work.

Shawn Tolleson came on in relief of Chris Capuano with men on 1st and 3rd. Tolleson would strike out the side, but only after giving up a run-scoring double to Joaquin Arias and a bases-loaded walk.

Rubby De La Rosa made his return to the big leagues after undergoing Tommy John surgery last year. It was shaky to say the least, but after walking Angel Pagan, De La Rosa would retire his next two batters prior to issuing a free pass to Hunter Pence.

Jamey Wright would come in only to surrender another run-scoring hit to Arias. It was 8-1 in favor of the Giants at this point. Wright would record the next four outs and Kenley Jansen pitched a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Dodgers next series will be against the Miami Marlins. The Marlins split a four-game set in Arizona, but lost both games of a double-header to end the series. The Dodgers must capitalize and win some games against a losing team. Miami has slipped into last place in the NL East, a game back of the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Mets.

Weekly GPA: 2.00
Cumulative GPA: 2.85

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